Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

What occurs during an exit interview?

An exit interview is a crucial step in understanding an employee's reasons for leaving an organization and gathering valuable feedback to improve the workplace. Here's everything you need to know about conducting effective exit interviews:

What is an Exit Interview?

An exit interview is a conversation between management representatives and a departing employee, either face-to-face or through an online survey. It aims to understand the employee's reasons for leaving and gather feedback on their experience with the organization.

Why Conduct an Exit Interview?

Boost Employee Engagement: By addressing concerns and feedback, organizations can improve employee satisfaction and engagement. Ensure Efficient Departure: Exit interviews help discuss obligations like equipment returns, non-compete clauses, and intellectual property agreements. Provide a Safe Space: Exiting employees can provide constructive feedback in a confidential setting, while HR can address any concerns or conflicts. Improve Employee Retention: Identifying gaps in satisfaction can help organizations make necessary improvements to retain future employees.

How to Conduct an Exit Interview?

Follow these steps to conduct an effective exit interview: Set Expectations: Ensure the departing employee understands the purpose of the interview and what to expect. Encourage Open Communication: Have someone other than the employee's direct manager conduct the interview to encourage honesty. Create a Safe Space: Remind the employee about confidentiality to encourage honest feedback. Prepare Questions: Draft a list of relevant questions in advance to guide the conversation. End on a Positive Note: Express gratitude for the employee's contributions and wish them success in their future endeavors. Implement Feedback: Take constructive feedback on board and consider implementing relevant changes in the work environment.

Sample Exit Interview Questions

Here are some sample questions to guide your exit interview:

Reasons for Leaving:

Why are you leaving the company? What does your new role offer that we don’t? Is there anything we could have done to retain you? Would you consider returning to our company in the future?


Was your manager approachable? How could your manager improve? Were you given clear objectives and constructive feedback regularly?

Job Description:

What was your favorite part of the job? What was the worst part of the job? How would you change the job if given the opportunity?

Onboarding and Company Culture:

How could we improve training and development? What are your thoughts on the company culture? Did you feel valued working here? Would you recommend our company to a friend? What qualities should we prioritize when hiring your replacement?

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